Navy turned in another spectacular defensive effort and fullback Kevin Tolbert barreled in for two touchdowns as the Mids strolled past Boston College, 21-0, before 27,405 today at Navy-Marine Corps. Memorial Stadium.
Led by linebackers Ted Dumbauld and Ted Kronzer, the Mids limited the Eagles to a total of 155 yards while amassing 325 to record their third straight victory and improve their season mark to 3-1. Boston College, which whipped a good Stanford team, 30-13, two weeks ago, fell to 1-3.
After a scoreless first period, the Mids finally began to pick their way through a stubborn Eagle defense. Boston punter John Cooper, who logged more time on the field than many of his teammates as the Eagles set a team record with 12 punts in one game, hit several 50-yarders to keep the Mids at their end of the field. But late in the second period, he shanked a punt 26 yards and the Mids quickly moved downfield to take a 7-0 lead. Navy stretched that to 21-0 on two Tolbert runs in the third period and that was that.
Tolbert, who at one time was fifth on the depth chart at the fullback position, picked up 56 yards on 10 carries to lead the Mids. Navy picked up 207 yards on the ground. Ed Meyers had 51 yards on 20 carries while Mike Sherlock picked up 50 yards on 10 rushes before he left the game with a sprained ankle.
The Eagles discovered in a hurry why the Mids were ranked No. 1 in team defense coming into today's contest. Despite starting an offensive line that resembled oak trees, the visitors managed only 28 yards on the ground in the first half. Navy's three linemem, Terry Huxel, Steve Chambers and Mike Matthes, took turns manhandling the BC blockers to stop Eagle runners seconds after taking a handoff. The largest of the "trees," 6-foot-8, 275-pound tackle Gary Michalec, didn't enjoy a particularly good first half, as Matthes ran past him at will.
Eagle quarterback John Loughery, will probably have a few words to say Sunday to his linemen and his highly regarded tight end Tim Sherwin. Besides getting very little time to pass (four of 14 for 34 yards), Loughery only shook his head in amazement as Sherwin dropped three passes aimed his way. The one exciting play the Eagles almost pulled off was a 33-yard pass completion to flanker Robert Rikard, former all-Met at Carroll High. But that was called back because of a holding call.
The Mids fared a bit better on the statistic sheet. The running game that clicked so well against William and Mary last week (330 yards) was good for 83 yards in the first two periods but the swarming Eagle defense refused to give up the long run.
Both teams played rather tentatively in the first half. For much of the half, the enthusiastic homecoming crowd had to be satisfied with 12 punts between Navy's Lex Lauletta and BC's Cooper.
Cooper's shortest punt of the half, a 26-yard effort, led to Navy's first Navy touchdown.
Taking over at his own 47-yard line, Mid quarterback Fred Reitzel went to the air. He saw split end Greg Papajohn cutting across the middle and fired a pass that the junior snatched away from two BC defenders and made it to the Eagle eight before he was stopped.
Ed Meyers gained four yards on two tries up the middle before Reitzel rolled to his left and connected with his favorite receiver, tight end Curt Gainer, for the touchdown. Steve Fehr's kick gave the Mids a 7-0 lead with 6:36 to play before intermission.
Navy, which had 194 yards in the first half, blew another big scoring chance minutes later. A Cooper punt gave the Mids possession at their 49. Navy was assessed a 15-yard penalty before an end-around to Steve Callahan caught the Eagles napping. The senior came within a step of breaking the play before he was hauled down at the BC 24.
Tailback Sherlock got four yards on a sweep. Reitzel then threw an ill-advised pass in the end zone where safety Mike Mayock intercepted with 56 seconds left in the half. Reitzel, who was eight for 16 for 111 yards in the first half, could only wish for that pass back.
Navy threatened to run the Eagles out of Annapolis in the third period. Two touchdowns within a six-minute span gave the hosts a comfortable 21-0 advantage.
The first score of the quarter was set up by a Kronzer interception of a wobbly Loughery pass at the BC 27. The linebacker rambled to the 14 before being shoved out of bounds. Two plays later Tolbert rumbled through a huge hole in the middle of the frustrated Eagle defense for a seven-yard touchdown with 8:31 left in the period.
BC Coach Ed Chiebek then yanked Loughery in favor of Doug Guyer. The sophomore, playing in his first varsity game, was not given a hospitable welcome by the fired-up Mids. A two-yard run by Kevin Bejamin gained nothing. Guyer then fumbled the snap but fell on the loose ball before tons of blue shirts pounced on him. On third down, Guyer was sacked by what seemed to be the entire team.
Cooper got off another short kick, this one landing at the BC 42. Tolbert, enjoying his best day as a Mid, culminated a brief six-play drive with another bull-like charge up the middle from six yards out. Sherlock logged 36 yards on five carries to set up Tolbert's run with 3:59 left in the period.
Guyer got into the swing of things despite the relentless pressure from the Mids. He hit seven of his first eight pass attempts but none of them were for long gains. On one series, he hit three straight for a total of eight yards, forcing Cooper to punt for the 12th time. This 50-yarder went out of bounds at the Navy two with just over eight minutes to play.
Content to just run time off the clock. Navy merely ran the ball up the middle, churning out several first downs before finally punting the ball away.